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Franceville is the fourth-largest city in Gabon, located on the Mpassa river, a tributary of the Ogooué River, about 500 miles upriver from Port-Gentil. Once the village of Masuku, it was renamed by French colonist Savorgnan de Brazza in 1880 and was a settlement of French Equatorial Africa from the late 1800s until Gabon's independence from France in 1960.

In December 1916, Major Boucher and Captain Henri Defense (Indiana Jones) led an expedition from German East Africa across the Congo to Port-Gentil to retrieve a wayward arms shipment. After crossing the interior of the African continent on foot from Bonga, the remaining survivors finally reached Franceville and rejoiced at reaching civilization after weeks in the perilous wilderness.

In the small town, Defense inquired about hiring a boat, and the Dutchman directed him to the dock, where Zachariah Sloat had a riverboat for hire, the Collette. The expedition continued their journey by boat, leaving the village.


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